Threat of Earthquakes Occuring in the Central United States is Still Alive.

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February 4, 2014Threat of Earthquakes Occurring in Central United States Still Alive: Earthquake activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central United States does not seem to be slowing down. In a new study published in the journal “Science,” seismologistsMorgan Page and Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey investigate whether current quakes in the region could be aftershocks of large earthquakes that occurred 200 years earlier. Pictured above, recent earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Using extensive computer modeling of aftershock behavior, they show that the dearth of moderate (Magnitude 6) earthquakes following the series of large earthquakes in 1811-1812, combined with the high rates of small earthquakes today, is not consistent with the long-lived aftershock hypothesis.

A debate has swirled in recent years, fueled in part by past studies suggesting that continuing New Madridseismic activity could be the tail end…

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